Apr 24, 2010


A caveat: if the following does not apply to you, don’t make it about you.

Demonstrations were organised in the major towns in Ireland for high noon on 24 April. It was not being organised by a political party or interest group, union or society institution. It is just a group of people who want a general election.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

A gentle revolution of the wheel to permit the people of Ireland to choose their leaders. It is the democratic way of the world. Violent revolution never really worked for us.

Most people are feeling the knock on effects of the global recession and the treacherous actions of our cowardly, parochial government. With pay cuts, tax hikes, job losses, home losses, small businesses folding and cuts in social welfare, most people have personally felt the recession. Many feel angry, worried, or despondent or apathetic.

Since 2008, the failures of the Irish Government to regulate the banks, curb their expenses or prosecute white collar criminals mount week on week. Disability allowances, carer’s allowances and blind allowances have been cut. Public sector wages have been cut. Almost half a million, mostly private sector workers, have lost their jobs. Zombie banks stalk the land, gobbling the cost of running the country. And the same people are in power. Not a single member of the government has resigned for incompetence. There have been resignations over expenses, perjury and interference in an official investigation but not a single resignation over the fundamental inability to fulfill the terms of employment.

I think most people know that no one can shame or embarrass members of the current government into resigning, regardless of their incompetence, bad judgment or corruption.

  • Michael Woods indemnified the religious orders and negotiated immunity for child rapists, torturers and slavers.
  • Batt O Keeffe referred to the Magdalen slaves as employees
  • Conor Lenihan used racist slurs in public
  • Mary O Rourke used racist slurs in public
  • Mary Couglan topped up Rody Molley's pension and refused to fire him for the FAS debacle
  • Brian Lenihan included Anglo in the state guarentee without assessment. His actions are why Ireland is in the economic mess
  • Dermot Ahern decides policy based on his personal extremist Catholic beliefs: introducing the crime of Blasphemous Libel and in 2006 assuring the pope that there would be no funding for stem cell research in Ireland
  • Mary Harney is privatising our health services pushing costs up. She is also responsible for the creation of the HSE which is unaccountable to the public
  • Noel Dempsey did nothing during the snow crisis. He was on holidays
  • John O Donaghue resigned the office of Ceann Comhairle but remains a TD despite lavish expenses abroad and constant flying between Dublin and Kerry with his garda driver bringing the limo at Kerry airport to collect him and his wife
  • Willie O Dea committed slander and perjury and is still a TD
  • Bertie Ahern is still a TD after he signed away the sovereign rights to our natural resources; told those warning about the property crash to commit suicide; told TV3 that leading the parliamentary party was like being in a concentration camp. And I haven’t even recalled all his goings on in Galway tents, involvement with tribunals and perjury.

The members of this Government are unshameable. They represent the epitome of privilege - private law. There is one law for us and one law for them.

This makes me angry. And I believe it makes other people angry too. Liveline usually has a plethora of callers complaining about lack of credit, losing jobs, losing houses and all of those tiny personal tragedies that have no influence on society as a whole or even make meaningful examples. It's one of the reasons that I hate Liveline. The show is a lightning conductor for anger and fear which dissipates at three o'clock.

As I mentioned there was a demonstration today - a call for action. Tralee was my nearest venue so I took the time and petrol and drove the hour to Tralee. What I found did not surprise me but it did dishearten me.

No protest, demo or call to action. What does it take for people to get out and show that they want something else? Are people happy with the government we have? All the statistics and opinion polls say no.

Whereas when the issue is something utterly trivial, like head shops, the people are up in arms firebombing and waving placards.

(thanks to @kerryview for the pic)

The government is not some scary totalitarian nightmare. It is made up of the people we put in place. It can be deconstructed. Every voter has power. But that power must be exercised. Yes we can change how this country is run. So why are people so reluctant to protest?

  • It might be the postcolonialism thing that we naturally never discuss.
  • Is it the general paralysis of the insane  to which Joyce referred
  • Is it just that we don't bother with protests unless mandated to by unions or highlighting the human desire to escape
I dunno. I find the whole thing makes me heartsick. People are not willing to take action but they are willing to complain endlessly about what over people should be doing. Because of that attitude, Ireland will spend a long time in this recession.

After today I want to quit this unequal, parochial, corrupt Catholic shithole. The majority do not have the same rights and services as the minority who use who they know to play unfairly. That applies to everything from planning to employment contracts. The rules are there for a fucking reason. That reason is equality for all. If X and Y want to apply for a grant but Y knows the local councillor, regardless of circumstances or resources Y will get that grant. My local councillor told me on the doorstep while canvassing to contact him with anything that needed fixing. The implication was clear.

I don't understand why people are still going to mass said by those bishops who covered up child abuse. Anyone who is capable of shielding a child rapist is capable of anything. Why has nothing happened? Why are the men in black allowed to rape children with impunity? Why did the state agree to the Woods abomination of an agreement?

I just wish that people cared, just a little bit. Now I'm going to get drunk.

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